Saturday, November 05, 2011

TFH 11/5: Corporal Mitchell Red Cloud, Jr., USA

Mitchell Red Cloud, Jr., a member of the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) Native American Tribe, was born in Wisconsin on July 2, 1924. At age 17 in 1941, he entered the United States Marine Corps and served our Nation throughout World War II, leaving uniform in 1945.

In 1948, he answered America's call again, this time in the United States Army. 1950 saw Mitchell Red Cloud thrust back into combat in Korea. As the forces of liberty beat back the communist Chinese and North Koreans, he found himself right at the point of an enemy surprise attack near his unit's command post, with just him, his Browning Automatic Rifle, and incredible fighting spirit and courage between the enemy and their objective.

This was sixty-one years ago today.


Rank and organization: Corporal, U S. Army, Company E, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Chonghyon, Korea, 5 November 1950. Entered service at: Merrilan Wis. Born: 2 July 1924, Hatfield, Wis. G.O. No.: 26, 25 April 1951. Citation: Cpl. Red Cloud, Company E, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. From his position on the point of a ridge immediately in front of the company command post he was the first to detect the approach of the Chinese Communist forces and give the alarm as the enemy charged from a brush-covered area less than 100 feet from him. Springing up he delivered devastating pointblank automatic rifle fire into the advancing enemy. His accurate and intense fire checked this assault and gained time for the company to consolidate its defense. With utter fearlessness he maintained his firing position until severely wounded by enemy fire. Refusing assistance he pulled himself to his feet and wrapping his arm around a tree continued his deadly fire again, until he was fatally wounded. This heroic act stopped the enemy from overrunning his company's position and gained time for reorganization and evacuation of the wounded. Cpl. Red Cloud's dauntless courage and gallant self-sacrifice reflects the highest credit upon himself and upholds the esteemed traditions of the U.S. Army. 

Mitchell Red Cloud, Jr. rests in Decorah Cemetery, Black River Falls, Wisconsin.

The 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 19th Infantry Regiment serve in our Army to this day. They are part of the 198th Infantry Brigade at Fort Benning, GA. The 198th Brigade's role is to transform civilians into soldiers - citizens into warriors. The 19th's regimental motto of "Rock Steady, Rock Force" fits this role well, and is certainly exemplified by Red Cloud's stand in 1950. One of the main present day US Army facilities in the Republic of Korea is named for him.

The Marine Corps also honors this great American for his World War II service with them. The USMC's Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 6 from Camp Lejeune, NC is nicknamed the "Red Cloud Battalion". CLB-6 is presently serving in Afghanistan. May they all come home safely!

In 2000, the vehicle cargo ship USNS Red Cloud (T-AKR-313) entered service with the Military Sealift Command. She has transported equipment to our fighing men and women since entering service, and will continue to do so for the next several decades.

Thanks for taking a few minutes on a Saturday for honoring a great American hero, and please keep all of our present day service members in your thoughts and prayers.

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